[OSM-talk] Facebook mapping highways using AI in collaboration with OpenStreetMap

john whelan jwhelan0112 at gmail.com
Wed Jul 24 21:15:34 UTC 2019

My personal view is I think using AI to identify potential highways and
buildings is fine but there needs to be a process that includes manual

Basically the import process.

I think my concern was more the idea in the article that suggests OSM
welcomes AI mapping and by implication conventional mappers were no longer
required.  This may impact HOT mapathons by the way if people feel that
needn't bother mapping, the AI will do it all.

Could someone clarify with the BBC to describe the process and emphasize
the community aspect of OSM.  It is summer so news apart from Boris is thin
on the ground so it might well be an opportune time to get a bit of
publicity for OpenStreetMap.

Cheerio John

On Wed, Jul 24, 2019, 4:57 PM Andy Townsend, <ajt1047 at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 24/07/2019 20:56, John Whelan wrote:
> > https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-49091093
> >
> > I note "Martijn van Exel" is quoted.
> I'm sure if the BBC wanted to do some actual journalism they could ask
> some OSM contributors in Thailand what their view was (see e.g.
> https://forum.openstreetmap.org/viewtopic.php?id=65056 for a selection
> of opinions) rather than just regurgitating FB's press release without
> it touching the sides on either the way down or the way up.
> I'm sure that there's someone at the BBC who's job it is to deal with
> complaints about non-news like this (in fact a couple of clicks from
> that "article" takes you straight to
> http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/complain-online/ ), just like the DWG
> have to deal with complaints about, shall we say, "sub optimal mapping"
> from the likes of Facebook et al.
> To be fair to Facebook (speaking entirely as an outsider to that
> organisation here), their approach seems to have moved from being
> entirely "mechanical" to involving more humans.  Facebook's early
> attempts were, in a nutshell, dreadful:
> https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17856687 is a write-up from someone
> who was apparently working there at the time; it's pretty much a
> textbook example of "how not to contribute to OSM". Latterly they have
> been much more communicative with the community, as you can see by
> reading the Thai forum threads.
> Other large companies contributing to OSM have followed similar paths;
> although sometimes it does require a rather excessive number of
> changeset discussion comments, OSM messages that users have to read
> before continuing to edit, longer blocks and reverts before they give up
> and actually try communicating with other people*.
> Best Regards,
> Andy
> (a member of the DWG, so I've of course had to "bucket and shovel"
> Facebook mechanical edits in the past, but writing here in an entirely
> personal capacity)
> * for the avoidance of doubt this wasn't Facebook; it was a smaller
> company offering B2B services in a couple of countries.
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